Anchors Aweigh : October 2016


Things I Want To Remember: Week 22

It's crazy to think I still have potentially 18 weeks to go, but as I write this I can feel my baby kicking away, so I will try to treasure the weeks left! Week 22 has been uneventful (let's be honest- that's the best kind of pregnancy) but still just as special!

1. The one really cool thing that happened this week is my mom finally felt the baby kick! I've been feeling him for weeks and have felt him several times from the outside, but he always stops moving the second someone puts their hand on my stomach. Not this week! My mom felt him, and I am feeling him more and more when I rest my hand on my belly. It's the best!

2. Nosebleeds are still a thing. I really don't mind them. It's probably the most mild pregnancy symptom I've had!

3. Baby boy sits pretty low, which means I go to the bathroom and immediately feel like I have to go again. 

4. Yall, I feel so big! This belly is so giant for being only 22 weeks... starting to wonder how much bigger it can get! I love love love having a big baby though!

The Boy Behind The Blog: Pregnancy 2.0

I realized the other day that it has been a sweet forever since I did a "Boy Behind The Blog" post. I just plum forgot about them! I always love coming up with questions and hearing Parker's answers, so today the boy behind this blog is here to talk about the biggest thing going on in our little world: pregnancy. 

Questions and answers (my responses to his answers are in gold): 

What has surprised you the most about pregnancy?
Finding out while I was away- that's definitely been the biggest surprise!
You can imagine what a surprise that Facetime call was. There was no other way to do it but just to spring it on him!

What has been the best moment so far?
Watching Chelsea with Emmett and knowing how good she will be at being a mom. She's the best auntie so I can't wait to see how sweet she is to our own child. 
He's so sweet. Emmett is my 6 week old nephew, and I've gotten to spend so much wonderful time with him. It's been the best practice for when our own little guy makes his debut!

What has been your least favorite moment?
Not being there, easily. Do you know how hard it is to fetch your wife food from 6000 miles away? Practically impossible.

Who do you think he will look like?
I'm going to go with Chelsea just because Emmett looks so much like Danielle. 
Emmett is a spitting image of my twin sister, so if our baby looks like me, the two cousins will probably look really similar! That would be fun! I imagine our baby looking just like Parker, which I would love. 

How does this pregnancy feel differently than the first?
Well, Chelsea's gotten a little bigger. It's obviously a lot happier because we haven't found out any terrible news. 
It's been night and day in terms of news. Other than the very first appointment, we haven't received any scary or even slightly nerve-racking news. It's been amazing! And he's right. I barely showed at all with Taylor and that certainly isn't the case here. ;)

That's all folks!

Things I Want To Remember: Week 21

We are officially on the back half of the pregnancy, which feels like an accomplishment in and of itself! Here are the little things that have occupied week 21 of pregnancy...

1. The big symptom this week has been increased indigestion. When I lay down to go to sleep at night, it gets pretty bad. It feels like hot liquid rising up in my throat, and I have to force myself to think about something else so I can fall asleep. Thankfully, once I am asleep, I stay asleep. :)

2. I am sleeping really well lately and need a good 9 hours every night to get through the day. Growing a human is tiring, yall! 

3. I get winded really easily. Walking up or down the stairs makes me feel out of breath, which sounds so pathetic, but it's true!

4. Our little guy is still kicking away, and I am loving all of his sweet movements! The movements are all below the belly button, which the ultrasound tech said was normal for this stage of pregnancy. 

5. I feel like I am carrying him pretty low, but I've always heard you carry boys lower than girls. Who knows if that is an old wives tale or not, but it seems to be true in this case!

6. My belly button is not really a belly button anymore. It's almost completely flat... so weird!

Picking Pumpkins 2016

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love the crisp weather, I love the start of the holidays, and I love all things pumpkin! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin candles... give me all the pumpkin! Parker and I started going to the pumpkin patch when we got married 5 years ago, and I don't think we have missed a year since. We were actually that couple that dressed our dog up as a pumpkin and took her to the patch. We have no shame, apparently. And by "we", I mean me. I think Parker about died of embarrassment every time I drug Jenny to the pumpkin patch dressed like a big orange pumpkin. 

Seriously though, she made a cute pumpkin. Here's a pumpkin patch throwback circa 2011.

I can't handle the cuteness!

This year Jenny stayed back, but I did drag my little sisters to the patch with me to pick our pumpkins! We oohed and ahhed over the rows and rows of pumpkins and carefully selected our favorite ones! There really is something magical about a pumpkin patch.

Since I didn't have any big strong man arms with me to carry the big pumpkins, I opted for the smaller, more pregnancy-friendly versions. I picked a pumpkin for all my babies- one for Jenny, one for Taylor, and one for baby boy!

I have a tradition of picking a white pumpkin for our angel girl, so I was really excited to pick the prettiest white pumpkin I could find. I picked an orange pumpkin for Jenny and then a very small orange pumpkin for the boy. It will be so fun next year watching him pick his own pumpkin! 

 We picked our pumpkins quickly and off we went (it's still hot in South Texas, yall). It was such a fun way to spend the afternoon, and I have been admiring my little family of pumpkins every day since! So glad my sisters were game to come with me! They saved Jenny the embarrassment of having to accompany me in her pumpkin costume again. She hated it about as much as Parker did. ;)

Things I Want To Remember: Week 20

Whoaaaaa, we're halfway there! I was singing this line all day Saturday because Saturday officially marked 20 weeks and the halfway point of pregnancy! So crazy/wonderful/eeek! 

1. I had the big anatomy ultrasound this week! Our little guy was measuring perfectly and pretty much right on track! He measured 21 weeks overall with his head measuring 22 weeks. Parker has a big head, yall. It's in the genes! His heart rate was 143 when we started the ultrasound and 146 when we finished. 

2. The ultrasound tech kept commenting on how active our little guy was. She said "Man, he is really kicking you!" to which I responded, "I know, I can feel it" haha. It was cool to see his legs kick on the ultrasound and simultaneously feel it on the inside. His movements still don't necessarily feel like kicks persay, just something moving around in there. 

3. I got on the scale at my appointment and am up 4 pounds this month and 11 pounds overall from my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm honestly not too concerned with what the scale says, but I am pleased with the numbers so far and feel good about how I am growing. The doctor said realistically I need to gain another 15 pounds before the pregnancy is over. In my head I thought "oh don't worry, the holidays are coming up". ;)

4. It's officially pretty impossible to hide this bump under clothes. I am 20 weeks pregnant and this big old belly is here to stay! I'm not mad about it. ;)

5. I bought my first pair of maternity pants! And by "I", I mean my mom (thanks mom!). They admittedly are a little big right now, and I am constantly pulling them up, but I think I'll grow into them nicely. The rubber band trick wasn't cutting it with my regular pants, so maybe I am in that in-between stage. 

6. I have been calling the second trimester the "pregnancy sweet spot", and while it has been, this week was tougher than the previous weeks pregnancy-wise. My body is just tired, and I get fatigued so easily lately. I am trying to take it pretty easy and took a few days off from working out this week to let my body rest. Growing a human is work, yall!

Life Lately

Life lately has been wonderfully ordinary, but I don't want to forget these moments. The normal, every day moments are what I know I will miss one day, so I am really trying to savor each day as it comes! Here's what life lately has looked like in our neck of the woods...

My favorite activity as of late is loving on my two favorite babies... one in my belly and the other in my arms. This aunt stuff is the best! I don't think the mom stuff will be too bad either. ;)

Speaking of mom stuff, Jenny is very attentive and ready to meet the new addition. Kidding, I really don't think she has a clue what's coming. I could have sworn she knew there was something different when I was pregnant with Taylor. I think that might have been in my head, because she doesn't seem phased at all by the growing, sometimes moving, stomach. 

 On the Jenny front, she's been doing her usual thing of chasing squirrels, walking the neighborhood, and playing sports. Here she is honing in her soccer skills...

...and she also likes to keep up with her tennis game. A pup of many talents, this one!

Speaking of pups, I stopped to take a selfie with my fur-nephew one gorgeous Saturday afternoon. He gave his best pupper smile for the picture!

 My favorite part about life right now is all of the wonderful family time I'm getting to have. My mom and I spent last Saturday shopping and lunching, and it was just the best day. Take us to La Madeleine, give us a quiche, and we are happy girls! My mom is so cute!

I also met up with my little sisters for a quick dinner to give them a break from studying. So much fun, and such a great reminder that, while college is awesome, not having to study every night is awesome too. ;)

That's life lately!

A First-Time Mama's Guide To Registering: Feeding Must-Haves

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BetterBottles #CollectiveBias

If there is anything I have learned with this new baby on the way, it's that I have a lot to learn. I recently set out to register for baby gifts and was completely overwhelmed by the massive amounts of baby products out there. Where do you start?? I decided to go by category, and feeding was one that I took the most time considering. After all, my sole job is to keep this child alive, and feeding him is a great start to doing that. ;)

I am not sure if we are going to breastfeed or bottle feed or a combination of both. We have a goal, but of course I have little control over which route we are able to take, so I want to be prepared for all scenarios. After talking with other mamas and perusing Walmart's baby feeding section like it was my job, I decided on our feeding must-haves for this sweet little babe. 

First, I looked at what we need in the feeding realm. Everything I came up with can be found at Walmart, so they really are a one stop shop for all things feeding! This is the list I came up with:

1. Nursing Cover- I wanted a nursing cover that was practical yet stylish. I think the perfect mix of those would be the nursing covers that double as infinity scarves! My favorite I have seen are the solid black infinity scarves- classic, practical, and cute too!

2. Nursing Pillow- This item is all about function. There are so many nursing pillows out there that look cute or have fun prints, but if it doesn't support the baby during feedings, it's useless. I gravitated towards the pillow that would mold to my body while still supporting the baby's weight.

3. Drying Rack- Since bottles need to be hand-washed, a drying rack is important! There are medium-sized racks and large racks. I went for the large rack that holds 24 bottles. The last thing I want is to wash a lot at once and not have a place to store them, so the larger option was for me.

4. Bottle Brush- These are very low-cost, and there didn't seem to be any distinguishing features between the different brands. For a case like this, I suggest going with the option that has the best reviews online at

5. Bibs- Who knew there were so many choices for bibs?! There are cloth bibs, plastic bibs, bandana bibs... the list goes on! I decided to register for a variety. When it comes to eating solids, I think we will really appreciate having the plastic bibs that curve up to catch food. When we are nursing, the simple cloth bibs will do the trick.

6. Burp Cloths- You may think burp cloths are all the same, but this is so not the case! I've learned with my nephew that the thicker cloths work best. They are more absorbant and will catch spit-up more quickly than the thinner options. Fun fact: a lot of people use cloth diapers as burp clothes! They are thick and absorbant, so give it try!

7. Bottles- The bottles are what needed the most thought and focus. I really wanted a product that would support both breast and bottle feeding, and I think I found just the one!

I chose the Playtex Baby Nurser® with Drop-Ins® Liners because this was the product that supports the baby's own natural feeding pattern and is conducive to both breast and bottle feeding. As the baby feeds, the soft disposable liner inside the bottle gently collapses to prevent air from mixing with the milk and getting into the baby's tummy. Air-free feeding helps to reduce colic, so this was an important feature for me!

I also chose the Most Like Mom® NaturaLatch® Nipple to go with the Playtex Nurser. It mimics the breast to help baby latch on naturally and promotes easy switching between breast and bottle feeding. These nipples are compatible with all of my Playtex bottles, and I really appreciate this because it means I don't have to buy special nipples for each bottle we own. Who has that much space in the kitchen cabinets, after all?

Stop by Walmart for your baby feeding needs, and check out the on-pack coupon for $3 off eligible 3-packs of Playtex Baby Bottles, including the Playtex Nurser 8 oz, Ventaire 9 oz, and Ventaire Colors.

Seasoned mamas: I would love to know your favorite feeding products for your little one!

DIY m&m Baby Halloween Costume

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BacktoBabyBasics #CollectiveBias

Life around here lately has been all things baby. In addition to expecting my own little bundle of joy in a few months, my first nephew came into the world! It's been great spending so much time with him, and selfishly it's going to prove so helpful come February when my son is born. I am learning how to do the newborn thing and loving aunt life! With my nephew's first holiday being Halloween, I wanted to put together an easy little DIY Halloween costume. This took 5 minutes to put together and came out pretty cute if I do say so myself!

To dress your baby like a little m&m, head to Babies "R" Us to pick up a few essentials! It was really nice being able to walk into a Babies "R" Us vice shopping online. Not only do they have all of the baby necessities, but they are experts in the baby industry and can provide some much needed guidance to this clueless mama to be!

Supplies needed to create your own DIY m&m baby Halloween costume are:

1. bodysuit in the color of your choice (I love the red m&m's so I chose red!)
2. a sheet of white felt
3. fabric glue
4. scissors
5. "m" letter silhouette (just search m&m's "m" and print)
4. m&m's for snacking and to get you into the Halloween spirit!

1. Cut out the "m" and trace it onto the white felt. I traced the back so that no pen marks would be visible when it came time to apply the letter!

2. Apply fabric glue to the back of the "m" and press letter firmly onto the center of the bodysuit. 

3. That's it! Eat a handful of m&m's for your trouble and step back and admire your extremely easy yet adorable work. 

I am going to give this to my sister as a little "Halloween gift" for my nephew, and I grabbed a package of Huggies Natural Care Wipes to throw in as well. If there is one thing I have learned in my nephew's first month of life, it's that this kid goes through far more diapers and wipes than I ever thought possible! My sister will probably appreciate the package of wipes more than the costume!

For the mamas out there, Babies "R" Us is hosting a First Halloween instore event on 10/15 from 11am-12pm. They will have a keepsake craft and parade around the store to celebrate baby's first Halloween! They will help prepare mamas for the colder weather with different solutions and tips while hosting giveaways and raffles! Meet and mingle with local moms and have fun

Look for Huggies Natural Care Wipes in the diaper section of your local Babies "R" Us!

What are some of your favorite Halloween baby crafts?

Surviving Deployment

Most any military wife will tell you that deployment is all about surviving. It is by no means going to be your favorite stage of life. It's not going to be the stage you look back on and say "I wish we could relive that". It's just a stage you have to get through. Survival. 

You will have seasoned military wives tell you that deployment isn't that bad, or that it goes by quickly, or that it's actually nice having so much time for yourself. While you may look back after the fact and think some of those are true, those don't apply when you're in the thick of it. The days seem longer, it really is that bad, and you're bored silly with so much time to yourself. #realtalk

Whether it's a 3 month deployment or a 10 month deployment, it's going to be hard. Nobody gets married thinking "yay, my husband is leaving!". It's about surviving. And once you do make it to the other side, regardless of what you had to do to get yourself there, you should be so proud of yourself for doing something that not everyone could do. 

I have had friends that have a really hard time during deployment, meaning emotional breakdowns, nightly cry sessions, etc. I've also had friends that take up new hobbies, wear a smile at all times, and if they're having a hard time, they don't show it. Neither is right, and neither is wrong. You just have to survive! If you have the ability to go live with family and think that will make it easier, do it! Don't let anyone tell you the "right" way to get through deployment, and don't feel insecure if you seem to have a harder time than others. 

For any friends who have, are currently, or will go through a deployment, take pride in knowing that it takes a special person to be able to make it through. Take solace in knowing you aren't alone. Take comfort in knowing it really is just about surviving. And you can do it!

Things I Want To Remember: Week 19

Week 19! I can't believe how quickly this second trimester is going, but this baby will be here before we know it! I am still loving every minute of being pregnant with this sweet boy and can't wait to see what the weeks to come have in store!

1. My belly has really popped out over the last couple of weeks! It's nuts! Parker is convinced I am further along than the doctors say (definitely possible since baby has been measuring big), but so far they have not changed my due date. This is also our first pregnancy with a healthy baby, so all we have to compare it to is my pregnancy with Taylor. I carried her to almost 20 weeks and was barely showing by the end, so I think that definitely plays a part in why we are so shocked by my big tummy. 

2. Fruit has been my big craving this second trimester. I have been eating an apple a day and will eat peaches, strawberries, watermelon, or berries for days. I love it! I keep telling my sister that if I end up being gestational, I am going to blame the fruit intake. There are much worse things to be craving though, right?

3. Another thing I don't think I have yet noted in these updates is my Triscuit obsession. I have been eating Triscuits since about week 12 with no sign of stopping. I have Triscuits with cheese every day for a snack and always look forward to my beloved Triscuits. ;)

4. I officially can't hide this pregnancy with clothes anymore. No matter how baggy my shirt is, this bump still sticks out and makes itself known. Athletic shorts or maternity shorts are all that fit on the bottom, and with the weather changing in the next few weeks, I am on the lookout for some cheap maternity pants! I love looking cute but am such a cheapo that I have a hard time justifying buying something I will only wear about 5 months. 

5. Baby boy was moving around, so I put my hand on my stomach to see if I could feel him from the outside. It really felt like I could, but it's hard to tell when I'm feeling him on the inside too! Every time I have my mom put her hand on my stomach to feel, baby stops moving. Little stinker. 

This week's picture was taken in the middle of shopping with my sisters when my friends texted and asked for a bump pic. I didn't get around to taking another, so this picture will have to do!

The One Who Taught Me Unconditional Love

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Mars, Incorporated. All opinions are mine alone. #PedigreeGives #YouBuyWeGive #CollectiveBias

If you've read this blog long, you know that I love dogs, especially my dog. If you know me personally, you know that I am passionate about rescuing and will always choose to rescue any dogs we have in the future. That's because the one and only dog that I've ever owned as an adult is a rescue, and she has completely changed my life. In fact, I have learned more from her than I have from most people. 

Parker and I found Jenny through a rescue organization called God's Little Creatures Rescue in February of 2011. By many people's standards, she was nothing special. She wasn't a purebred. She wasn't any breed, really. She was just a mutt. A medium-sized brown dog. She was six months old, and we had no idea what her first six months had looked like. Had she been abused? Had she been abandoned? Did she ever belong to anyone? So many unanswered questions, but we instantly fell in love with her, and suddenly the answers to those questions no longer mattered. We signed the papers, wrote the check, and Jenny was a stray no more. 

Jenny took to us immediately. She was so obedient from the start and a true joy to train. She was eager to please and just wanted our affection. She didn't mind treats every once in a while either. ;)

The vet did an x-ray at one of her early appointments and found a BB from a BB gun lodged in her hip. I couldn't believe it! This poor, innocent dog had been shot at some point in her first six months of life. She had every reason to be scared and untrusting of people, yet she loved us from the start. I've learned so much about unconditional love from Jenny, and I honestly think I will be a better parent for it in the future. 

Today, I am excited to share with you all that PEDIGREE® has partnered with Sam's Club to give back to dogs in need, dogs just like Jenny before she became ours. When a PEDIGREE® product is purchased at Sam's Club, the PEDIGREE® brand will donate a bowl of food to a dog in need. I chose the 55 lb bag of PEDIGREE® Adult Complete Nutrition Dog Food. I love knowing when I use it to fill Jenny's bowl, another dog out there in need will be getting a full bowl too. 

"A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his."- Marley & Me 


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